Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Monday, September 28, 2009

Capitol Reef National Park

Several of our friends have told us Capitol Reef is their favorite of the 5 southern Utah national parks.  We might not go that far (I really loved Arches), but it’s right up there.  The Park is the second largest in the state, yet is much less visited than others in south Utah, partly due to the rather remote location.

The Waterpocket Fold, a nearly 100 mile long warp in the earth’s crust,  defines Capitol Reef.  The most scenic portion of the Waterpocket Fold, found near the Fremont River, is known as Capitol Reef: capitol for the white domes of Navajo Sandstone that resemble capitol building domes, and reef for the rocky cliffs which are a barrier to travel, like a coral reef.cap1


After traveling for many days through Utah’s rocky landscape, the green color of the trees in Capitol Reef arrested our attention.  Running through the area is the Fremont River.  Early Morman settlers recognized the potential of the area and settled here in the 1880s, planting apple orchards.  They named their settlement, appropriately, Fruita.

The settlers are long gone, but several reminders remain behind, and provide a unique glimpse into the past for today’s travelers.  The historic Fruita tour begins at the Gifford House, where fresh breads and jams, made in nearby Torrey, provide a delicious start to the day.  cap3

The farmhouse is filled with remnants of yesterday. cap4

The road past the farm, following along side the old Butterfield Stage route, cap5

takes you along the Waterpocket Fold ca

to Capitol Gorge, where the pavement ends.ca

Back  near the farm, we stopped for a picnic lunch near the Junction of the Fremont River and Sulfur creek, and took a few minutes to wander through the nearby orchard.ca   Tourist still pick the apples during season.ca

Children  of the settlers attended school in this tiny building,ca


and left record of their time spent on the ‘school roll’ out back.ca

Leaving the settlement behind, we decided to hike to Hickman Natural Bridge.  ca

 ca   The elevation began to bother Ron, and he chose a shady spot to wait on Hoyt, Bernice and me.ca

  As in all the National Parks of Utah, the scenery is breathtaking.

ca One of the largest rock spans in the park, Hickman National Bridge has an opening of 125 feet top to bottom, and 133 feet between abutments.  The bridge is named after Joe Hickman, one of the men deserving credit for the preliminary work that led to the creation of the National Park.ca

We also spent time at the Petroglyph/Pictograph site, where a boardwalk ca

leads past dozens of examples of rock art.  The human depictions are often elaborately decorated with headdresses, ear bobs, necklaces, clothing items and facial expressions. A wide variety of animal figures include bighorn sheep, deer, dogs, birds, snakes and lizards. Abstract designs, geometric shapes and handprints are also common.  ca

Our last stop of the day was at an overlook near the entrance to the park.  ca The informational display made an interesting observation:

ca   ca

Torrey is a picturesque community of only 120 residents.  On Saturday morning, we visited the tiny farmers market, located in the side yard of a bookstore, consisting of only 1 vendor. ca


We purchased a delicious loaf of bread that had been cooked in an outside stone oven.  The bread is brought to the Farmer’s Market, unwrapped, in tubs.ca

On Sunday, we attended the small church, where Anita offered to provide piano music for the tiny congregation of 12 or so.  She was asked to stay and become their pianist.

At this point in the trip, Hoyt and Bernice decided to take the scenic route to Bryce Canyon National Park.  We chose not to visit Bryce, as it would mean driving through the aspens.  Ron was beginning to have allergy problems with the trees at Capitol Reef, and we didn’t want to aggravate the situation.  We decided to make Zion our next destination.

For a slideshow of more of Capitol Reef, CLICK anywhere on the collage:  



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